Ontario Provincial Police announced Tuesday they had arrested 122 people in November in child exploitation cases. Included in that number were people from Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Listowel and Conestogo.
“Charged persons include former and present teachers, emergency service personnel, we have members of our military, engineers, immediate family members of the victims, and we have a female,” OPP Staff Sgt. Sharon Hanlon said. “I think it’s clear this crime crosses all demographics, of wealth, employment, social status and age.”
OPP held a press conference Wednesday morning in Vaughan in an attempt to shed a spotlight on how prevalent child sex abuse is across the province.
VIDEO: OPP announce results of their child sex abuse strategy since 2006
They said they worked with 26 police agencies across the province in making the arrests which resulted in 551 charges being laid.
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“The investigators of the Provincial Strategy and our partners work tirelessly in one of the most difficult jobs in policing to bring those who would harm our children to justice,” said OPP Inspector Tina Chalk in a release.
Police say they also identified 55 victims in November, with the youngest being just three years old.
“This means that 55 victims have been removed from the cycle of abuse they were experiencing at the hands of these offenders in this last month alone,” Hanlon said.
There were five people in Guelph charged with child exploitation related offences in November.
Mateusz Wyszomirski, 29; Alexander Wang, 24; Sebastian Chojnicki, 43; Jordan Doyle, 35; and a 66-year-old person who was unnamed by police Wednesday, have all been charged with child pornography-related offences.
Chojnicki has also been charged with sexual assault, assault, criminal harassment and possession of a prohibited weapon. The unnamed person has also been charged with making child pornography, sexual assault and sexual interference.
The list of people the OPP arrested in child exploitation-related cases last month includes two from Waterloo and one each from Kitchener, Listowel and Conestogo.
Pedro Weiler, 24, of Waterloo, an unnamed 29-year-old from Waterloo, Nathan Morris, 45, of Conestogo, and Eric T. Parsons, 30, of Kitchener are all facing charges in relation to child pornography.
The unnamed Waterloo resident is also facing charges of sexual assault and sexual interference.
Parsons has also been charged with luring a person under 16 and invitation to sexual touching.
Police say their investigations into the accused province-wide case are ongoing and additional charges may be pending.
— With files from Global News’ David Shum